William Rees is a European explorer who is widely regarded as the founder of Queenstown. Cecil Peak in Queenstown is named for one of William Rees’ eldest sons and is a highly prominent peak in the Wakatipu Basin. It’s 1978 metres high and is one of the easiest mountains in Queenstown to see from any angle.
To get to Cecil Peak, you can take a water taxi from Queenstown and then hike one of the many trails, or partake in a scenic heli-hike that is sure to be a breathtaking experience.
Walter Peak is another Queenstown mountain named for one of William Rees’ sons. It is a popular tourist destination as the Walter Peak High Country Farm offers daily tours and experiences. Sail across Lake Wakatipu in the vintage TSS Earnslaw and enjoy a farm tour where you learn about the animals and the day-to-day operations of the farm. If you’d like, you can add on a gourmet BBQ lunch or dinner to your tour to truly experience the rustic lifestyle.
You can even explore Walter Peak by horseback or by bicycle. Both options give you great views of Queenstown and the beautiful landscape. If you choose to do Walter Peak by cycling, you’ll get to see the true countryside as you go through the golden tussocked valley and through to the rainforest. There are several Lord of the Rings filming locations for you to stop at for a photo opp as well. The horseback riding option is great for all ages and skill levels, making it an ideal family activity in Queenstown.
Ben Lomond is one of the most popular and well-known mountains in Queenstown. It offers excellent views of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown and is an iconic vantage point you might see on many postcards. Named after a mountain called Ben Lomond in Scotland, this Ben Lomond is home to many walking and mountain biking trails as well as the gondola.
Walking up to the summit is a 1438 metre elevation gain and is well worth it for the 360 degree panoramic views. From the city centre, walk up the Tiki Trail for about 3 to 4 hours to get to Ben Lomond Saddle, then it’s about another hour’s walk to get to the summit. Ben Lomond is one of the best day walks in Queenstown.
One of the most popular skifields in the country, The Remarkables is a mountain range comprising of several peaks and lakes. During the warmer seasons, there is incredible hiking to places like Lake Alta, while during Queenstown winter you’ll get world-class skiing and snowboarding.
The Remarkables are located just 40 minutes away from Queenstown, making them a great year-round destination. Once you see this mountain range, you’ll understand why they are so aptly named!
Whether you visit during winter or summer, you’ll be able to see these iconic Queenstown mountains framing the landscape of this alpine town. Make sure you add some of these activities to your holiday itinerary for a remarkable experience you’ll never forget.